Mikel Arteta: ‘The margins are so small’ in the Champions League

Speaking after Joshua Kimmich’s 63rd-minute header saw his side knocked out of Europe, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was left to rue ‘small margins’ as he addressed the media in his post-match press conference.

‘It was a tie of very small margins,’ explained Arteta. ‘In the first leg, we conceded two very poor goals and that has a big effect in the tie. We were still alive, came here and I’m really proud of the players, how they stood up, the way they tried to play, what they tried to do, especially in the first half.’

‘It was a game that you could see either an error or an individual or magic moment that would decide the tie. The margins are so small. We didn’t defend our box well at all in that action and we ended up throwing everything and trying everything, not having enough to score a goal and have an option to go through the tie.’

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The result comes just days after the Gunners fell to a disappointing defeat against Aston Villa in N5, handing Manchester City pole position in the race for the Premier League title. Speaking on how his side will bounce back from consecutive losses, Arteta assured reporters that he will ‘be close to the players.’

‘I feel so grateful to be their coach and to work with them every single day. And what they need is that we stand right next to them, give them our support, our love, and I will have to pick it up because on Saturday we have a big, big, big game. We’re still playing for a Premier League and I would really want it. We have to show now that we are capable of turning this around.’

‘By tomorrow, we are fully focused on Wolves and everybody’s lifted. What we still have to play is beautiful and I said before, it’s time to be next to our players and in this moment, not when you win 10 in a row and a draw, that’s easy to prize our players and to be behind them and to say really nice things. The moment is now to be next to them.’